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April 23, 2019

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April 3, 2020

It's very easy at this time to be sucked into the fear and feel overwhelmed with anxiety, but how we feel, depends on the choices we make. Right now, more than ever we need to discern between what is enhancing our mental and physical well-being, and what is diminishing and challenging it. We need to monitor how much news we expose ourselves to, what kind of films/series we're watching, how we're spending our time, who we're communicating with and how we're nourishing our bodies and minds. Making choices that serve your well-being will change your experience from fear and anxiety to acceptance and gratitude.

But how is it possible to feel peace during such a time? By making conscious choices and moving inwards...

When we go deep enough inside of ourselves, we cannot feel fear because it doesn't exist beyond the mind. Our inner world is like the ocean beneath the waves, always calm despite the threatening tumultuous waves above. If we allow ourselves to be victims of our circumstances, we will feel battered and lost, but if we dive down, we find we are immune to what's happening on the surface and our negative thoughts and emotions fall away.

Inside of us is something truly beautiful. It cannot be put into words, because it is beyond the mind, but it is a magical place that will give you all the love, protection and comfort that you need. It's always there, but we are so caught up in our minds and the outer world that we cannot hear the stillness that exists inside of us.

And it is in this space of inner stillness that we need to be spending more time than ever before. How can we access this space? By communing with nature, through silent meditation, guided meditation, chanting, yoga, enlightening literature, documentaries and listening to spiritual teachers.

Inside of us is the doorway to AWAKENING our consciousness. When we begin to understand who and what we really are, we have an inner knowing that everything is happening exactly as it's supposed to. There are no accidents, only serendipity and things no longer happen TO us but FOR us. Basically, we cannot lose when we're connected to our inner world.

So what choices are you going to make today for your health and well-being? Remember, our feelings and emotions directly affect everyone around us, so the choices we make are not only for ourselves, but for our loved ones.

Choose wisely and look after yourselves.

May 16, 2019

Was it just me or was yesterday an unbelievably productive day? I spent 7 hours cleaning the inside and outside of my apartment and once I'd got over the initial resistance in my mind, I loved every minute of it and couldn't stop! 

Isn't it strange how we resist doing things which we know deep down will be rewarding? That voice in our head is so adept at convincing us that doing something else, ANYTHING else is going to feel so much better. But when we listen to that voice (our ego) we create the perpetual cycle of procrastination-guilt-anxiety-stress etc because the thing we know we need to do, still hasn't been done. And when we hold such thoughts in the back of our heads, they affect every other aspect of our lives because we can never really relax and enjoy the moment. So why don't we just do the thing and avoid the pain? Good question, which Eckhart Tolle could so brilliantly answer, but for now I can tell you from my own experience, there is a way through it...

As you know, I've recently finished recording my first full length Guided Meditation. Do you now how many years ago I bought the equipment and procrastinated? 
FIVE Yes, it's shameful, but everything kept getting in the way; finding somewhere to live (back then) admin, class plans, advertising, studying, cooking, cleaning, I was too tired, unwell, too many other projects on the go, wasn't in the right frame of mind, didn't know how to use the software & equipment, socialising, family duties, Facebook, Instragram etc etc. There's no end to the excuses but only YOU can decide when enough's enough and when you do, BOY IS IT AWESOME!!

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed recording this mediation. It took two solid weeks with most days on the computer all day learning how to use the software and equipment (which in my mind was going to be overwhelming, but was in fact joyful), experimenting with sound effects, timing, my voice, music etc. I was completely immersed and the outside world didn't exist, nor did any of my habitual thought patterns. My mind was stilled because I was completely PRESENT and focused on what I was doing and it was....IS the most incredible feeling in the world. 

So it seems, 
the level of resistance equals the level of joy that you will experience doing the very activity that you're avoiding like the plague. Does that make sense? In other words, the more you resist, the more you will enjoy! So what are you resisting? Is it exercise, a new way of eating, getting to bed earlier, mowing the lawn, sorting out your cupboards, or a creative project? Try if you can to get over the initial hurdle, because when you do, you're in for a treat as the universe will flow through you, and that feeling is quite simply OUT OF THIS WORLD!!

If you'd like to listen to my meditation, please click here

April 23, 2019

It’s very difficult not to be affected by the fear that the media instils in us about the uncertainty of our country and the world around us. But these fearful thoughts may as well be real in terms of the effect they have on our bodies as they activate what’s called the ‘fight or flight’ response: 

Designed to prepare us for imminent physical danger, stress hormones are pumped in the bloodstream to give us courage to fight, and blood is diverted from the inner organs to our muscles to give us strength to flee. 

This is all very well if we have time to recover, which activates the ‘rest and digest’ response, but that often isn’t the case as we are constantly under some level of stress whether it be about money, work, family or our health. 

But did you know that stress is caused by our thoughts about these things, not the actual things themselves?

That is the impact of our thoughts. It is our thoughts that cause our pain, but is it also our thoughts that create our happiness.

So how can we change our thoughts? By becoming aware of them. 

This is where Yoga and Mindfulnesscome into play. Not only do they activate the ‘rest and digest’ response, allowing our bodies to physically recover from stress, but they teach us how to observe our thoughts. 

With practice, we learn to tame our minds and think better thoughts. When we think better thoughts, we change how we feel, which helps us to feel more safe and secure in a world that’s going crazy around us. Self care is not only an investment in yourself, but for your loved ones as your feelings and attitudes affect everyone and everything around you.

March 27, 2019

Sunday 7th April 6-7pm @ Aztec Studio, Torquay

This is an exciting one-off event to raise money & awareness for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

They will provide is with eye masks and I will guide you through the hour long class with slow and clear instructions. 

Not only will this give you an extra sensory experience of the practice, but most importantly, it will help you to appreciate how it feels to live with limited vision. 

If you're interested in joining us and supporting this cause, please contact me to book your place. 

The class will be by donation (minimum £5) and all proceedings will go to the RNIB.

January 15, 2019

As some of you know, since meeting the Kundalini Master Hari Nam Singh Khalsa in December, I've been getting up before dawn to chant the Kundalini Aquarian Sadhana mantras. Something changed in me after meeting this wise and humble man. I cried nearly all the way through the workshop and at the end I held his hands and thanked him and realised, for the first time in my life, I was in the presence of someone beyond description - my Guru. Just thinking about it still brings me to tears. It was the very next morning that I felt compelled to start chanting....

The practice consists of 7 mantras sung in Gurmukhi, a Sikh language. Each mantra holds a particular vibration that connects us to a higher frequency, that frees our mind from limiting thought patterns. I particularly love Snatam Kaur's versions of the mantras as she has the voice of an angel. 

The first thing I noticed after two weeks of chanting, was an amnesia of my worries. I had that feeling when you know you've forgotten something, but you can't remember what it is? I soon realised, however, that the 'something' was just thoughts about things that weren't real and didn't matter. I could still remember the things I needed to, I just couldn't remember the ruminating rubbish!

I'm more organised, I have more time and I have so much more energy. I've also found that I can remember stuff. I no longer forget what I'm looking for when I go into a room and I even go shopping without a list! Every day I notice something new and I feel soooo good that nothing is going to stop me from getting up every morning to chant these beautiful mantras. I even chant myself to sleep, so I never have trouble sleeping and should I wake in the middle of the night, I just get up and chant, so nothing can beat me!

In just a few weeks, the mantras have made me feel more complete. For the first time in my life, I feel like I want for nothing. I'm not worrying about how I feel my life ought to be. I don't stress about who or what should be a part of my life. I'm not over analysing everything single thing (I could win prizes for that) and I'm not procrastinating like I used to. Instead I feel that my life is already exactly as its supposed to be, and that it's perfect, exactly as it is. I'm not exaggerating, that's how I feel, and it really is extraordinary. 

Of all the practices I've experienced over the years, this has had the most powerful and sustainable affect on how I feel. Of course I still practice yoga every day, so the mantras were the missing piece that I had neglected. I didn't really understand them before, because I had never practiced them regularly enough, but now that Hari Nam Singh Khalsa has touched my heart, I cannot imagine my life without them. 

Mantra clears away the rubbish in our minds and the subsonscious. It draws out unnecessary thoughts and helps us to return to our natural state of bliss. It is our birthright to be happy, but we need to feel connected to be healthy, happy and whole.

First of all we need to connect to ourselves, which connects us to God, the universe, to spirit, the angels...whatever your belief may be. Then, we must connect with each other in Sangat (fellowship, community) and have the courage to be our true selves, open, genuine....and vulnerable, for it is only through vulnerability, that we sincerely connect with others and experience the true depth of happiness. 

Canadian born, Hari Nam Singh Khalsa came to the feet of Guru Nanak Dev Ji (the founder of Sikhism) at the age of 24 and has been sharing his teachings and the Sikh way of life for 40 years.  

All of his teachings can be found on YouTube and 

March 23, 2018

Isn't it amazing how even a photo of paradise can make you feel at peace? But did you know, you can also feel that way by looking inwards? Inside of us is a space untouched by trauma and pain. A space where we can feel safe and protected, so why are we so fearful of moving inwards and simply being with ourselves? 

I remember the first time I had to sit in an hour-long silent meditation. There were 12 of us sitting in a circle in a candle-lit cabin in the mountains in Spain. From the moment I walked in I began to panic as I realised I wouldn't be able to leave. Of course I could have, but I was too shy to get up and walk out, so I felt trapped and started to hyperventilate. The only other time in my life that I'd experienced anything like that was when I was scuba diving at 35 metres, gasping for air and wanting to escape to the surface. But how could my mind think this situation was comparable to a life-threatening one?

In my life, I'd always made a point of facing my fears head on by deliberately putting myself in challenging situations like travelling around the world by myself, engaging in extreme sports, moving several times, trying out different jobs and searching, always searching for the next big thing. I thought I was being strong and brave but in fact, all my feats and goals were a perpetual attempt to escape from myself. By making my outer world as stimulating as possible, there was never time or space to listen to what was happening inside of me and that's why I never felt happy or settled. However, all that changed when I discovered Kundalini yoga, as I'd never felt so at home in my life.

Kundalini Yoga allowed me to be with myself in a way that felt natural and comfortable for me through movement and breath. The healing that took place in my body and mind as I continued practicing daily, was tremendous,  so I could not have anticipated such a powerful aversion to sitting in silent meditation a year later. It seemed I had even been using my yoga practice as a distraction from my deepest darkest self. 

So what did I do in that situation up on the mountain? The exact same thing I did at 35 metres. I negotiated with myself. I told myself that if I gave into my unfounded fear, it would affect the rest of my life and I would look a fool. I was, in truth, shaming myself, but it worked. 

Needless to say, I am no longer frightened of sitting in silent meditation and have just completed the 8 week Mindfulness programme for the second time because I really want to get to the bottom of why I was so scared back then and why I still resist sitting with myself.

Well, I can conclusively say that it has had yet another profound effect on my life. I have learned so much more about myself and in identifying my thought patterns, I have freed myself from unnecessary stresses and find myself so much more at peace. Our practice helps us to peel away layers of ourselves that don't serve us and reveal that pure, untouched space inside. It does require work, and sacrifices need to be made in terms of time and commitment, but surely nothing is more important than feeling at peace inside and experiencing your life to its full potential. 

So why was I so scared back then? I have no idea? Fear of the unknown is just that. We don't know what's there, so why not face it and find out? Inevitably, it's never as scary as you think. Imagine how much happier we'd be if we could let go of all our fears and just lived our lives open and free?

When we connect with ourselves, our outer world begins to transform and we find our inner paradise reflected on the outside in every way possible. The people we meet, the new experiences we have, the joyful surprises. Even life's challenges reveal themselves to be part of the fabric of our growth and make us a tower of strength for those around us. 

February 25, 2018

As some of you know, I'm taking the 8-week Mindfulness course for the second time as part of my commitment to more self-care. 

This course had a profound affect on my life the first time round, so I had not anticipated what it would reveal this time. With the mindful practices already being integrated into my daily life, I am now working on a deeper level, which has uncovered habitual thoughts patterns that have been causing me anxiety for years and ones which I thought were acceptable. I thought being self-employed, self-sufficient and self-supportive meant that it was justified for there to be some level of anxiety in my life. But that's rubbish! These thoughts and rules that I've created in my mind have prevented me from moving forward because I always have the feeling of being overwhelmed and never having enough time. 

The irony is, I prayed for years for my life purpose to be made clear and now that I've found it, I am flooded with ideas and ways to express and deliver these practices and yet I've done very little to materialise them because I don't know where to start. I've talked about them and planned them, set deadlines and made promises, but I keep getting in my own way. So while the universe has delivered, I am PROCRASTINATING for England because of my limiting thoughts and beliefs.

Nothing should cause us anxiety as anxiety isn't real. It's just a thought about something imaginary in the future that may never happen. It’s impossible to feel anxious in the present moment because you are IN the moment, experiencing it physically with your body and mind, right  here, right now....that's where Yoga & Mindfulness come in!  If we're not fully present, anxiety creeps back in, as your mind begins to worry about the next moment before it even happens. How often have you been anxious about something and it's never been anywhere near as bad as you thought it would be? Almost always! 

Anxiety keeps us one step away from happiness and contentment and can keep us immobilised, unable to move forward for fear of the unknown. How crazy is that? It's not even tangible and yet it has so much control over least only until we spot it! Once we recognise something in ourselves, it becomes powerless because we are now AWARE and it can no longer hide in our subconscious controlling our behaviour. We do have a choice over our thoughts, but we need to become aware of the ones we already have in order to change them.

Healing and wholeness emerge from awareness. We need to be with ourselves to allow each layer to be revealed and peeled away when it's time. As Buddha said "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear" We are in fact our own teachers, our own Gurus. We don't need to spend months living in an ashram in India to become enlightened. We just need to spend enough time with ourselves in quietude, fully experiencing our bodies and minds in the present moment.  In this space, we can truly listen, and in this silence, we can find the answers to everything we're looking for...

January 7, 2018

It's time to Cleanse the body, Calm the mind and Clarify our thoughts with yoga, deep relaxation, meditation and yummy food. I'm going to prepare  raw plant-based this time as it's delicious and super cleansing! 

Early bird ends next Friday 12th January. 

Yoga workshop are suitable for everybody. No experience needed. 

August 21, 2017

It has suddenly dawned on me why diets don't work. 

Just a few months ago I remember socialising with a group of friends who were talking about their diet and exercise regimes in order to maintain their ideal weight. I felt so fortunate to no longer have to worry about those kind of things because I was finally completely happy with my body and never had to diet because of my yoga practice. But it was a very different story in the past. 

For more than 20 years, I suffered with an eating disorder, where every single moment of every single day was preoccupied with the thought of food and exercise. I never believed I would be free of such an all consuming addiction, but yoga changed all that, by helping me to learn to love myself again and find balance in my life. 

Since my recovery, I’ve learned to listen to what my body needs, so I eat everything including meat, fish, cheese and eggs. My diet is naturally very healthy as it’s also full of fruit, vegetables and salad with lashings of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. I also make everything from scratch, buy good quality food and enjoy a glass of fine red wine with my meal.

Having been in balance for years, I presumed I was cured of the negative thought patterns that affected the way I ate, but a deeper understanding of myself was revealed this year. 

What came to light was finally being able to understand why I have always been unlucky in love...apparently it's no coincidence. I learned, that if we don't love ourselves, we attract partners who will only hurt us because subconsciously, we don't believe we are worthy of more. But I thought I did love myself? Apparently not enough, as it happened again, but I won’t ever fall into that trap again, as my eyes are open wide now.

Since then, however, I’ve been comfort eating. I thought it was a phase and would pass, but I haven’t been able to control it and have put on weight, which has made me feel horrible about myself and start dieting and over-exercising again. But why should I feel horrible about myself just because I’ve put on a bit of weight? Having not felt like this for years, I realised two things; that I clearly still had issues with low-self esteem and that there were probably a lot of people out there who felt the same way. So I ran the Self-Love workshop, where among other things, I talked about the impact of negative self-talk and how I had gradually changed the way I spoke to myself over the years.

However, last weekend, my friend pointed out how negatively I was speaking about myself in physical terms. I said it was only temporary because I had put on weight, but that was irrelevant. Saying out loud and internally that I felt fat (temporarily or not) was reaffirming that I was not good enough NOW, which made me want to eat more. Hence the vicious cycle that I found myself in.

How many of us think we should lose a few pounds, should look younger, should be better looking, should be taller, shorter, musclier etc. The list of ‘shoulds’ goes on and on. The moment we say to ourselves that we are not physically good enough NOW, for whatever reason, we start treating ourselves badly by craving the things that will make us feel worse. 

When we don’t feel good about ourselves, we diet to try to change ourselves. But the moment we tell ourselves we’re not good enough, we want to overeat because we don’t care about ourselves.

Can you see the problem? Our negative self-talk, which instigates a diet, is the very thing that fuels imbalanced eating and the exact reason why diets don’t work.

So the answer is to love and accept ourselves EXACTLY AS WE ARE NOW. No excuses, no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’. As soon as we do that, we lose our unhealthy cravings and our eating finds its natural balance. There are plenty of models and super fit celebs out there, who we might think are 'perfect' and brimming with confidence, but in fact, are incredibly insecure about their looks. The fact is, if we don’t love ourselves on the inside, we will never be happy with how we look on the outside because we are looking at ourselves through poop tinted glasses. What we think and believe is what we perceive and that includes our physical body. 

Only when we accept ourselves warts and all and stop trying to be something other than we already are, can we can find balance with our vices and addictions. The more willing we are to look inside to reveal and accept what’s there, exactly as it is, the more we will learn to love ourselves on the outside and ultimately improve all of our relationships.

So ditch diets. Exercise loving yourself instead. You are perfect and beautiful exactly as you are. Find your voice. Be yourself, love yourself. I know I’m doing the best I can.

Part II of the Self-Love Workshop will take place on Sunday 1st October 2017.

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